Suffering digestive issues but no idea why? Then these 5 tips will make sure you're on the right track before you go see someone professionally. We also take a look at why smoothies bowls are the new craze and why you should totally accept this craze.
In my clinic I would say almost 90% of my clients are coming in with digestive issues. Many are not even coming in for that reason, but as we delve into why they're not losing weight, why they're struggling to meet their goals, or why they're having fertility issues it would be almost dangerous to ignore the crucial role that their gut health plays in all these areas. You literally repair and build every aspect of your body, brain and hormones through the food you eat so if your digestive system is not functioning at its best you will not be absorbing the most out of your food.
You cannot simply eat good food - you must use it!
For most people, it only takes a few small changes and they're well on their way to healthier digestive function. If you're not sure how serious your issues are then you should at the least be going to the toilet regularly - ideally daily, and it should be with ease, but not too much.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and some changes to be made first.
1. Are you eating on the go, in the car or while you work? Stop, and take 10 minutes to eat away from distraction and actually allow your body to process the fact you're eating.
2. If you leave the warmth of your bed immediately for a heavy breakfast or coffee each morning, then make a warm lemon water or apple cider vinegar in water to kick start your digestive system first. Do this for a week and see how you feel.
3. Learn to chew your food properly! We keep saying "chew to poo" around HQ. It's quite catchy. We suggest you start saying it around your office building too. See the smoothie bowl recipe below for a way to chew your morning smoothie.
4. Drink herbal teas and water to ensure you're hydrated and to optimise bowel function. People with too loose or too hard bowel motions all need proper hydration and extra fruits and vegetables for fibre.
5. Keep a food diary with what you eat alongside your symptoms, so you can start by seeing if there is a type of food or action that is causing you distress. This is very helpful if you go to see a health professional too.
Smoothie bowls for digestive health
Smoothies are fantastic ways of combining so many great ingredients and getting maximum nutrients in a single sitting, but the common scene of running to the car and sculling your smoothie down in one large gulp is also contributing to gut issues. If you do nothing else, but chew everything you eat, then you are making a great decision. I like to create smoothie bowls really simply, by pouring my smoothie recipe into a bowl and just topping it with my favourite granola or paleo-friendly cereal. Easy!
Recipe serves 1
1/4 cup frozen or fresh banana
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
1/4 cup probiotic greek or coconut yoghurt, we used Raglan Coconut Blackcurrant yoghurt
1/2 cup water or almond milk
1 tsp chia seeds
1 scoop vanilla protein (optional but ideal for after exercise)
1/4 cup cereal of your choice, we used Reveal Yourself granola
Blend the all the ingredients well except the cereal. You can add more water or almond milk if you wish to for desired texture.
Pour into a bowl, top with your cereal and an extra optional stir of probiotic yoghurt and serve with a spoon.